Fish Pendant

Period: Middle Kingdom

Dynasty: late Dynasty 12–early Dynasty 13

Date: ca. 1878–1749 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht North, cemetery west of Senwosret (758), Pit 847, MMA excavations, 1908–09

Medium: Turquoise, gold

Dimensions: L. 2.1 cm (13/16 in.); H. 1 cm (3/8 in.); Th. 0.4 cm (3/16 in.)

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1909

Accession Number: 09.180.1182


The loop for suspension at the mouth of the fish shows that it would have hung vertically as a pendant. Its overall shape with a sharp dorsal fin allows to determine that this is a Synodontis batensoda. More detailed pendants confirm this identification. This type of catfish often swims upside down very close to the surface and is hence also called the "upside-down catfish."

Link to a blog about upside-down catfish
The Upside-down Catfish